Tell me, do you celebrate Valentines? Or do you avoid the celebration entirely? Even as a married couple, we’re normally in the latter camp. With Christmas just past, and my birthday in March, it’s always felt like there’s enough celebration/present buying going on around this time of year and we tend not to bother with all the hype.
That said, now that we have Evie (and so little time for us/romance), it feels a bit more like an excuse to put our phones/laptops away for an evening and spend some quality time together. We don’t bother with elaborate presents or even cards but an M&S dine in for two meal doesn’t go wrong, and if you happen to be reading this dear husband, then I ALWAYS appreciate flowers ;-).
Despite the tendency for all things pink and red and heart shaped in the food world, which can get a little over the top, I couldn’t resist setting a ‘Valentines’ theme for the baking club this month, after all nothing says love like cake right?
I wanted to attempt a Valentines bake that hinted at love, but in a grown up sophisticated way. And I figured dark chocolate and chilli did just that. There’s something rather mysterious and seductive about that combo isn’t there? I’ve always wanted to try mixing chocolate and chilli in a recipe, but I guess I’ve always been a little scared. Will it work? Will it be too hot? Will the chilli overpower all of the other flavours?
But when I came across this recipe (originally from Aldi), it peaked my interest and with the addition of raspberries, I thought it might be a good beginners attempt at baking with chilli (the raspberries hopefully sweetening things up).
Muffins are one of those bakes that are super easy to make – a throw it all in the bowl and mix kind of bake – and these are no different. Thrown together in ten minutes and baked within twenty, so a great idea for a Valentines treat, if like me you’re short on time. As a first try at baking with chilli they were a success and both myself and my husband enjoyed them, but they certainly do have a bit of a kick so I’d probably not add the chilli every time I make them. If you don’t enjoy too much of a kick, then maybe just opt for half a teaspoon of crushed chilli rather than a full teaspoon, but that’s just personal taste. The raspberries add sweetness and keep the muffins moist and using dark chocolate rather than milk makes them much richer and perhaps more decadent?
If you’re keen to try them yourself, here comes the recipe…
What you’ll need
250g self raising flour
50g dark chocolate cocoa (I use the Bournville 70% cocoa)
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar (this could be omitted if you prefer to do sugar free)
2 large eggs
100g unsalted butter (melted)
100g dark chocolate (cut into chunks)/ dark chocolate chips (again a 70% cocoa version is best)
1 tsp crushed chilli/chilli flakes (half this if you prefer less of a kick)
150g fresh raspberries
How it’s done
1. Preheat your oven to 180C and line/grease a 12 hole muffin tin
2. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together
3. Mix the sugar, eggs and milk together then add to flour mix, beating until smooth
4. Melt the butter then stir into the mixture and mix until smooth
5. Add the chocolate chunks, raspberries and chilli and mix evenly
6. Divide the mixture between your 12 cases (optional – add a few extra raspberries/ chocolate chunks to the top of the muffins before they go in the oven)
7. Bake for 20 mins or until a for comes out clear
8. Remove from the oven and enjoy!
Will you be baking anything for Valentines this year? Throw any recipe suggestions my way in the comments, and of course if you’re keen to join in with our monthly baking challenges then do sign up to my baking club! If you give these (or any of my other recipes) a go, I’d love to see how they turn out. Tag #theflakybakersclub on social media so I can take a look!
Single, married, or despising the whole thing, I hope your Thursday the 14th Feb is just lovely!
Want more Valentines recipe ideas? Try this hidden heart cake.
And for something equally chocolatey and indulgent you’ll love my sea salt chocolate fudgy brownies.
And if you want muffins without the spice, why not opt for these white chocolate and raspberry ones instead?